By Jim McCarthy and Sara Matthis
The city of Marathon and village of Islamorada declared a state of emergency on Monday evening, joining Monroe County and the city of Key West, which both issued declarations on Sunday.
Marathon declared a state of emergency on March 16 at 5:08 p.m. while Islamorada declared just before 5 p.m. It will expire in seven days and be updated as needed. Marathon’s executive group is authorized to make decisions to implement measures to mitigate the spread of COVID–19, and to prepare to respond to an increasing number of individuals requiring medical care and hospitalization. Islamorada issued a state of local emergency as a precaution and to stay in step with all county governments, which are currently at level 3 elevated monitoring.
The state of local emergency opens the county and local municipalities up to additional resources and funding to combat the impacts of the coronavirus.
The primary protective action the county is taking at this time is a social distancing rule. There will be no gatherings on county property of 250 or more people, and emergency management encourages all businesses and organizers to limit mass gatherings of 250 or more people through at least March 22.
Right now, the recommendations and actions will continue in week-by-week increments and can be canceled at any time. This is issued for the next seven days, but it is expected to be renewed through the next 14 days.